Having a computer for work-at-home use is vital for any WAHM. Having a computer that's optimal for working at home means that you'll need to spend some time and possibly some money updating your software. The Microsoft Office Suite, which contains Microsoft Word and Excel, is arguably one of the most important virtual tools on a computer and frequently comes pre-installed on desktops. However, depending on the type of work you do, you'll likely need much more software than just the Microsoft Suite. Go through the following list, and make sure you have all the software you need to effectively work from home.
Microsoft Office Suite
If you don't already have this installed on your computer, you'll need to get it ASAP. Microsoft Office is pricey, but also contains essential tools for performing a huge number of daily tasks. Microsoft Word is the most commonly used text editor, while Excel, a spreadsheet application, will help you keep track of any number of different things. Even if you don't keep electronic records yourself (although you should), it's a safe bet that at some point you'll need to access a Word or Excel file, so you'll need the software in order to open it.
Quickbooks is a very useful tool if you're a business owner, because it will help you with accounting. While not an absolutely vital piece of software, it will make your task of organization much easier and will likely save you more than enough time to pay for itself very quickly.
Time tracking tools
Most freelancers would have to work on hourly projects and for this purpose, you will be needing reliable software to manage your time efficiently. There are staff rota software that will allow you to manage your time and keep track of others' work schedules (if you have subcontractors and other freelancers working for you). You need to do your own research about which tool to use and which features you want like. Features like the ability to send invoices, manage payroll, and create employee schedules are a must-have.
When working online, it's often necessary to open .PDF files, which you can only do if you have Adobe Reader installed. Since it's free, there's no reason not to grab this software. Install it for free at get.adobe.com/reader .
Adobe Flash Player
Another free and vital piece of software, Adobe Flash Player will allow you to view many websites and movies, which you would not be able to otherwise. Get.adobe.com/flashplayer allows you to download it for free, for whatever platform you happen to be running.
Since many websites are coded in Java, you will need a Java reader in order to properly access the site. Java is a free download, so go to java.com/getjava and make sure you have it installed.
If your job entails any kind of graphics design work, you should already know what software you need to accomplish that work. Programs like Photoshop, Corel, Flash, Dreamweaver, or even 3D design and animation programs like CADD and Maya are pricey, but a necessary investment for graphic designers.
Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Adobe Reader and Flash Player, and Java are some basic software essentials which should be installed on any computer you plan to work with. The nature of your work-at-home job may require that you purchase software beyond those. Make sure you have your computer set up and well-equipped to maximize your efficiency and better complete your job.